Gallbladder B Gone!

After over 40 years with minimal health problems, I get my first proper, personal hands-on experience with the Norwegian health care services.

So, over the last six month, I’ve had increasing problems with my inner plumbing. Sometime, after meals, I’ve felt a weird pressure in my upper belly. Four or five times, particularly after eating a lot of food in the evening, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with a pretty severe bellyache. A couple of times it’s been so bad that going back to sleep hasn’t been an option, and I’ve spent a couple of hours of the night on the bathroom floor, waiting for the pain to go away.

When it became obvious that this wasn’t something that would go away by itself, I decided to go see my doctor. Based on what I told him, he did an ultrasound examination to check the liver and the gallbladder. The liver looked just fine, but the gallbladder didn’t appear on his office equipment.

So I was told to go to a clinic with better ultrasound equipment a week or so later, and the guy who examined me there found the missing gallbladder. He also found a ton of gallstones in the bladder1.

Chop, chop.

Because of the discovery, my doctor referred me on to a surgeon, who promptly described my symptoms as a “textbook case of gallstones”. Based on my symptoms, he also suspected that I was brewing on a case of cholecystitis; inflammation of the gallbladder. Ultimately, the surgeon recommended that I had the gallbladder removed.

And that’s what I’m doing now. As in “right now”.

If all goes according to plan, I should be on the operating table when this post is being published. How quickly people recover after gallbladder surgery is a bit individual, but the average sick leave is one week. If you don’t hear from me in a while, that’s the reason.

And if you don’t hear anything from me again ever, be kind to each other, and please save the Earth before it’s too late.

Footnotes

  1. Not a literal ton of gallstones, of course, but a lot of them.

By Vegard Skjefstad

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